Actually after having my car get the three bars of death twice in the last three months in the middle of driving my car down the road, Smart Card and Mercedes needs to do a software fix or have a recall on all cars that are programmed to stop working when certain faults happen. I asked my dealer advisor today if the issue with my Smart (the motor in the transmission) was so dire that my car needed to shut down in the middle of the road (since she thinks it's the same issue that happened in Oct). The obvious answer was no.
And from researching other forums and discussions, it seems like there are a handful of codes/faults that will cause the Smart to revert to the three bars of death and immediately shut the car down.
For example, weak battery connection. Does that seem so bad and so dire that a car needs to do the nuclear option and immediately shut off?
What seems more reasonable is some kind of warning light that tells the driver/owner, "You have an issue, get to dealer ASAP."
Most of my driving there is no shoulder and the speed limit is at high speeds. Getting the three bars of death, could actually cause my death.